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Self-healing plastic could help make space travel safer

Nov 18, 2015

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Material that repairs itself after being shot? Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but what practical applications could this have?

Researchers at the University of Michigan have teamed up with NASA to develop a material that solidifies once it's exposed to the atmosphere and could help make space travel safer. 

"If this were to puncture the wall of a space station, of a spacesuit or some sort of exploration habitat on the moon or Mars, there would be this liquid material within the walls of that habitat or spacecraft, as the oxygen starts to rush out through that hole it initiates a reaction turns that liquid into a solid and plugs up the hole," says Scott Zavada, a graduate student in the U of M Macromolecular Science and Engineering PhD program.

Watch this video by American Chemical Society: